Max Mona ’21, Annapolis, Md.
Tell us about your experience in the Entrepreneurial Mindset course.
I took the new Entrepreneurial Mindset course in the fall with students from many different majors. I was very happy this course was available as entrepreneurship is essential no matter what you study at Concordia. Having students from different disciplines helped strengthen our entrepreneurial teams by recognizing the skills and abilities each team member brought to the group.
What problem were you trying to solve and how did it change throughout the entrepreneurial journey?
Initially, our team was tasked with solving a problem for Fargo’s Hector International Airport: “What can the airport do to help customer mobility from the parking lot into the airport during inclement weather?”
With this question, we began to examine the problem more closely by interviewing key stakeholders, including airport officials, their parking contractor, and around 50 traveling passengers. Through our initial research, we discovered that the problem was already being solved by the parking contractor who agreed to provide shuttle service during the winter, alleviating mobility issues for customers.
Because of this new development, our group had to adapt our thinking and readjust our original objective to the changing circumstances. We ultimately provided a proposal to the airport and the parking contractor that would revise their contract in the future to provide a full-service valet, an idea that we demonstrated could be profitable if executed correctly.
What opportunities arose as a result of the experience?
This project provided our team with an opportunity to branch outside of our comfort zones and solve real-world problems outside of the classroom. Through that process, we met business leaders including the senior vice president of the parking contractor S&P Plus, who ultimately offered me a job. He described how impressed he was with our group’s preparedness and how the parking company was always looking for talented employees.
What happened when the class was over?
The class came to an end, but the problem we were solving did not. In fact, a local entrepreneur reached out to me to collaborate on solving a similar problem and he invited me to 1 Million Cups to help support his pitch. I’ve found that I’ve become more engaged in the Fargo-Moorhead entrepreneurial community as a result of the class.
How will an entrepreneurial mindset impact your life moving forward?
I learned that entrepreneurship applies to any discipline, any workplace, and any position. The entrepreneurial skills I gained from creative problem solving to collaborating in teams to being able to adapt to change will be key to my future success. I am currently applying for internships within the finance industry and know that my entrepreneurial skills will open up more opportunities for me in my field.
What advice do you have for other students considering entrepreneurship?
I’d recommend that all students consider taking Entrepreneurial Mindset because it applies to anyone in any career. The entrepreneurial skills I demonstrated on this project were clearly skills that attracted employers, as they were noted by the business leaders we interviewed in the process.